In 2018 we responded to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Vaccinations for All inquiry.
The aim of the inquiry was to raise the political profile of the importance of routine vaccinations both around the world and within the UK, and to encourage Government to provide leadership and sustainable funding on confronting the challenges of ensuring equitable access to vaccines to everyone, no matter where they live. Details and publications relating to the APPG can be accessed online.
- The accuracy of the measurement of immunisation coverage is extremely important. It is much better to step in when a sub-optimal level of coverage is noted, rather than to wait for an increase in disease rates.
- In industrialised countries, call-recall systems are the most effective means of maintaining high coverage rates. In settings where there is not the capacity to institute these systems, attaining high coverage may be dependent on special immunisation days, during which the whole of the eligible cohort is targeted. In all settings, opportunistic immunisation should be encouraged.
- It is important for countries to continue to vaccinate against diseases even if the disease is very uncommon. Once a disease has been eradicated, resources in all countries can be freed up for other purposes.
- Ideally vaccination programmes should not be stand alone, but part of broader health programmes.
- The UK has a role to play in improving equitable access to vaccines by supporting research into both vaccine technology and into factors influencing the uptake of vaccines in different settings.
- When there are concerns about vaccines, it may be more important to enlist the help of individual community leaders and role models rather than vaccines manufacturers playing a direct role as their input may be seen as conflicted.
- In order to understand vaccine safety and improve uptake it is important that children learn, as part of their education, basic skills of critical appraisal and how to weigh up evidence.
We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Health Policy team: firstname.lastname@example.org.